Summer is over already?! *Sigh* Returning to your back-to-school morning routine can be a real drag. All summer, you and the family have enjoyed long sunshiny days, salty waves, road trips and family reunions, but as we get closer to that back to school date, the days start to move just a bit quicker and now it is time for the inevitable: establishing your morning routine for back to school. To help you out, here are 4 ways to prepare:
1. Become your child’s hype squad
It’s easy to dread this time of year as a parent. Even if you’re ready for the kids to get out of your hair, the thought of having to structure your back-to-school morning routine and saying goodbye to summer may hit you with all the feels. But, it’s important not to share that with your kids. Instead, consider sharing your excitement for all the fun that back to school brings like new friends and extracurricular activities, not to mention all the cool new things they are going to learn!
Being your child’s hype squad is a part of parenting, because when kids see you are excited, they’ll get there too. If your little hears you complaining about how hard it will be to get back into the morning routine, they’ll start resisting before it even begins.
2. Say goodnight
During the school year, us parents are on a mission. Dinner, bath time, jammies, story time, bedtime. Summer, however, is a whole different mood and it often finds us getting pretty lax when it comes to bedtimes. Family movie night, backyard camping, closing theme parks. All these summer staples lead to zooming right past your child’s 8 pm bedtime and now, you are wondering how the heck to get a child who has been up until 9:30pm all summer go to bed at a decent time.
Well, I have good news and bad news. The good news is it will happen. The bad news? It’s going to be hard. Simply put, you need to pull the band-aid off because late nights do not lead to successful mornings. About a week before school starts, begin your nighttime routine early. If your optimal bedtime is 8, start at 7. This will give you plenty of time to address the protests, whines, “I need a drink of water”s and “1 more minute”s. Be calm and consistent. You’ll receive a lot more pushback in those first few nights, but by the time school starts, your little one will be all set for those morning wakeup calls!
3. Set the alarm
Of course, the other side of bedtime is the wake up. Chances are, just as your kids have been staying up late, they’ve also been sleeping in. Unless they’ve had full daycare or summer camp schedules, it is time to get them into those early wake ups for their back-to-school morning routine. When you start enforcing bedtime, you should start enforcing wake ups. Set the alarm and stand strong when your little one pushes for their third “snooze button”. It doesn’t have to be the wakeup calls of yesteryear, either. Find what works for your kid.
My little girl does not like when mommy comes in to wake her up- but she loves when Alexa has Harry Styles do it. So, at 6:30am, the sounds of Watermelon Sugar can be heard drifting through the house.
4. Get it done
Before back-to-school begins, brainstorm what you can get done in the morning. You may think you have this in the bag, but after a couple months of mint juleps and watermelon, you’d be surprised what you’ve blocked out. I’m a list person, so I write everything out: Alarm at 6:30am, shower, dress, breakfast, brush teeth, hair, pack lunch, backpack, out the door. There is something so gratifying to me in checking each item off. You don’t have to write it out like this, but you should get yourself mentally organized so that you aren’t scrambling the morning of. An even better way to ensure you kick ass on your back-to-school morning routine is to get as much as you can ready the night before. Pick out your kids clothes, pack the lunch…you can even lay out the toothbrush!
Shifting gears and getting back into that morning routine may seem like a dreaded task, but utilizing these four tips, patience, and a few deep breaths, will have you and your mini rocking the morning routine in no time!